Nations League draw: When is it? Who could England play? How will it work? When are the matches?

The draw for the 2022/23 Nations League takes place this evening, as all 55 European nations prepare to learn of their upcoming opponents. 

UEFA will certainly be hoping for a smoother ride this evening, having been forced to declare their initial Champions League last-16 draw void after a series of embarrassing errors, before getting it right at the second time of asking.  

The tournament will be the third edition of the Nations League, with Portugal crowned the winners in the summer of 2019, before France narrowly overcame Spain just a few months ago in October. 

The 55 competing teams will be split into four Leagues – A, B, C and D, which will be further divided into groups of four, though one group in League D will have three teams. 

Each team will play four group games in June 2022, with the final two games played in September. 

With the draw swiftly approaching, Sportsmail takes you through everything you need to know.  

France claimed the second edition of the Nations League with victory over Spain in October

Gareth Southgate's England could be drawn against the likes of France, Portugal and Germany

Gareth Southgate’s England could be drawn against the likes of France, Portugal and Germany

When is the draw?

The 2022/23 Nations League draw takes place this evening, December 16, at 5pm for those in the United Kingdom. 

It will once again take place at the House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland.   

How to watch the draw?

Similarly to the Champions League just a couple of days ago, the Nations League draw will be broadcast for free on UEFA’s YouTube channel. 

Sportsmail will also be providing live updates, so you can follow along with us.     

How will the draw work?

The draw will involve all 55 UEFA member associations, with each nation participating in the 2022/23 tournament. 

The teams will be divided into four leagues, determined by results from the 2020/21 tournament, officially known as the Nations League Access List. 

Leagues A, B and C will have 16 teams each, divided into four groups of four. The remaining seven teams are in League D, which is split into two groups, one comprising of four teams and the other of three. 

Within each League, the groups will be made up of one team from each pot.

How will the groups work? And when are the matches?

In each group, teams will play their opponents home and away, with the matches set to take place in June and September 2022.  

Wales were promoted to League A after winning their 2020/21 group

Wales were promoted to League A after winning their 2020/21 group 

Due to scheduling for the 2022 World Cup next winter, four of the six matchdays will take place in June. 

The winners of each group in League A will progress to the knockout Finals in June 2023. The Finals, in principle, will be hosted by one of these four teams. 

The winners of each group from Leagues B, C and D will be promoted for the 2024/25 tournament.     

The group losers in Leagues A and B will be relegated, while the group losers in League C will compete in the relegation play-outs in March 2024. The losers of these then drop into League D.  

Which nations are in which League?  

League A 

  • Pot 1: France, Spain, Italy, Belgium
  • Pot 2: Portugal, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany
  • Pot 3: England, Poland, Switzerland, Croatia
  • Pot 4: Wales, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary

League B

  • Pot 1: Ukraine, Sweden, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland
  • Pot 2: Finland, Norway, Scotland, Russia
  • Pot 3: Israel, Romania, Serbia, Ireland
  • Pot 4: Slovenia, Montenegro, Albania and Armenia

League C

  • Pot 1: Turkey, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Northern Ireland.
  • Pot 2: Greece, Belarus, Luxembourg, North Macedonia.
  • Pot 3: Lithuania, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kosovo.
  • Pot 4: Gibraltar, Faroe Island, TBC, TBC 

* Pot 4 will be completed by two play-out winners, decided in March 2022. 

League D

  • Pot 1: Liechtenstein, Malta, TBC, TBC
  • Pot 2: Latvia, San Marino, Andorra

* Pot 1 will be completed by two play-out losers, decided in March 2022.

The relegation play-outs

So, just to explain the above, the reason League C and D are not yet complete is that the 2020/21 Nations League is not actually yet over. 

There is still a relegation play-out to complete, which will take place in March 2022. This will decide which teams remain in League C and which get relegated to League D.   

There will be two two-legged games, with Moldova taking on Kazakhstan and Cyprus playing Estonia. 

The first legs will both take place on March 24, with the second legs five days later on March 29.  

Who could England play?

With England in pot three, having finished third in their 2020/21 group, there is a possibility Gareth Southgate’s side could be drawn against both France and either Germany or Portugal, though that would be the worst case scenario. 

They can also come up against fellow Brits Wales, who are in pot four.   

England finished third in their 2020/21 Nations League group

England finished third in their 2020/21 Nations League group

What’s guaranteed is that England will come up against one of France, Spain, Italy or Belgium, who are the top seeded teams in the tournament. 

Then it will be one of Portugal, Netherlands, Denmark or Germany from Pot 2 and one of Wales, Austria, Czech Republic or Hungary from Pot 4.  

Worst case scenario: France, Portugal/Germany, England, Wales. 

Scotland, who are in League B, could come up against the likes of Ukraine, Sweden and the Republic of Ireland. 

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland, who were relegated last time out, are a top seed in Group C and can play the likes of Greece, Macedonia or Faroe Island.     

Nations League key dates

  • Matchdays 1 & 2: 2–8 June 2022
  • Matchdays 3 & 4: 8–14 June 2022
  • Matchdays 5 & 6: 22–27 September 2022
  • Finals draw: tbc
  • Semi-finals: 14 & 15 June 2023
  • Final & third-place match: 18 June 2023
  • Play-outs: 21–23 & 24–26 March 2024